Home Security Camera Wiring: 7 Easy Steps to Set Up!
A home security system will keep your family members safe and protected. You can always leave your house with peace of mind, knowing that they are all protected with these technological advancements. However, a professional might not come in right away for installation all the time. That’s why it is important to know how to install security camera wiring when that time comes.
If you’ve decided to get a wired security camera system instead of a Wi-Fi camera, the setup is a bit more involved, but you’ll end up with a better system in the end. In this article, I’ll teach you the basic steps on how to install security cameras with wires.
Tools you need:
- Ethernet cable
- A power drill with drive bits and spade bits
- Some regular drill bits
- Steel fish tape
- Masking tape or any kind of tape
- A monitor, mouse, and keyboard
- Baluns (all of the cameras connect directly to the DVR box, either using BNC cable for analog camera systems, or ethernet cable for digital systems. If you have an analog system, I highly recommend skipping the BNC cable and getting special adapters called baluns, which allow you to use Ethernet cables—they’re a lot easier to install and more modern overall)
Steps in brief:
- Figure Out the location for Your Cameras
- Prepare the Installation
- Run Cables to Camera Location
- Run the Cables to the DVR Box
- Install the Cameras
- Connect Everything Together
- Set Up the User Interface
Step 1. Figure Out the location for Your Cameras
When it comes to installing wired security cameras, you have to think about what makes the most sense as far as ease of installation, and if it’s even possible to install a camera where you want it.
It would be great to have a camera mounted on the outside wall next to your front door in the upper corner, but you have to think about how you’re going to route the cable from the camera all the way to the DVR box. That is your limiting factor when it comes to installing the cameras.
Step 2. Prepare the Installation
In any case, start by marking a hole where the camera’s cable will feed through, as well as holes for where the camera’s mounting screws will go. Some kits will come with a template sticker that makes the job a lot easier. If yours doesn’t come with these, hold the camera up to the wall or ceiling where you want it and mark the holes with a pencil.
Get your power drill and a drill bit and drill pilot holes where the mounting screws will go. Then drill the bigger hole in the center that the cable will feed through. Usually, you have to use a spade bit for the bigger hole, but you might be able to find a regular drill bit that’s big enough.
Step 3: Run Cables to Each Camera Location
Once you have holes drilled for your cameras, it’s time to run a cable to each of your camera locations. This is also where the order of things might be different for you based on your situation, but essentially you’ll be drilling holes either through walls or ceilings in order to feed cables to where you need them to go.
Step 4: Run the Cables to the DVR Box
Once you have all of the cable runs located where each camera will be, it’s now time to route all of those cables to the DVR box.
You’ll likely need your fish tape for this, as well as your power drill to drill holes through walls or ceilings.
How you mount the DVR box is completely up to you. Most will have mounting holes on the back, similar to what power strips and surge protectors have. You can also just have it sit on a desk or tabletop of some kind.
Step 5: Install the Cameras
After the camera is installed, you can then make some rough adjustments to the camera by loosening the adjustment screws and then tightening them back up when all adjustments have been made.
Keep in mind that you’ll likely need to make finer adjustments once you can actually see the live view of the camera, so you’re not entirely done with this step just yet.
Step 6: Connect Everything Together
Once the other end of the cables is completely routed through your house, you can begin connecting them to the DVR. The connections should be pretty easy, just connect each cable to its own port, and then connect the external monitor to the DVR box, as well as the mouse and keyboard. You can also keep a USB drive plugged in for when you need to export any footage in the future.
Step 7: Set Up the User Interface
This is where things can be different for you depending on what camera system you have, but the setup process is likely similar across the board, the user interface setup consists of creating a password, setting the date and time, and going through a quick tutorial on how it all works.
From there, you’re good to go, but taking some time to navigate through the settings to customize some things is recommended, like whether or not your cameras should record 24/7 or only during motion, for example. Your system may also have video settings that you can tinker with to make the image quality a bit better.
How to Hide Security Wires Inside your Home
If you don’t want to ruin your home’s décor, you can try these quick and easy steps to hide security wires.
- Solution 1: When you drill holes for your wires to pass through, you can easily hide them using wire guards. They are more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes rather than the wires themselves.
- Solution 2: Loose wires are very unsightly. Painting them is a good choice, or use staple wires and run them into corners and paint them afterward.
- Solution 3: Run the Home security wiring in your attic—the best way to conceal wires.
- Solution 4: Another great option is to let your run wires from plastic pipes or PVC pipes; this allows them to be concealed entirely and protects them from external damages, rats, and dust.
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